Objective: Turnover of the extracellular matrix in all solid organs is governed mainly by a balance between the degrading matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs). An altered extracellular matrix metabolism has been implicated in a variety of diseases. We investigated relations of serum levels of MMP-9 and TIMP-1 to mortality risk from an etiological perspective.
Design: The prospective Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men (ULSAM) cohort, followed from 1991–1995 for up to 18.1 years. A random population-based sample of 1,082 71-year-old men, no loss to follow-up. Endpoints were all-cause (n = 628), cardiovascular (n = 230), non-cardiovascular (n = 398) and cancer mortality (n = 178), and fatal or non-fatal myocardial infarction (n = 138) or stroke (n = 163).
Results: Serum MMP-9 and TIMP-1 levels were associated with risk of all-cause mortality (Cox proportional hazard ratio [HR] per standard deviation 1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03–1.19; and 1.11, 1.02–1.20; respectively). TIMP-1 levels were mainly related to risks of cardiovascular mortality and stroke (HR per standard deviation 1.22, 95% CI 1.09–1.37; and 1.18, 1.04–1.35; respectively). All relations except those of TIMP-1 to stroke risk were attenuated by adjustment for cardiovascular disease risk factors. Relations in a subsample without cardiovascular disease or cancer were similar to those in the total sample.
Conclusion: In this community-based cohort of elderly men, serum MMP-9 and TIMP-1 levels were related to mortality risk. An altered extracellular matrix metabolism may be involved in several detrimental pathways, and circulating MMP-9 or TIMP-1 levels may be relevant markers thereof.
San Francisco: Public Library of Science , 2011. Vol. 6, no 1, e16185